Street kids becoming a nuisance

Editorial

STREET children in urban centres, in particular the capital city Port Moresby, are increasingly becoming a nuisance to motorists, and pose a threat to public safety.
Until recently, one would have been sympathetic toward these children who have no families, or whose families simply ignore their existence, and what they get up to around the city.
It has reached a stage where to call their acts irritating and frustrating is understating the impact they have on the lives of citizens going about their daily business.
The Government recently acknowledged the serious impact of the issue on city residents and on the street kids themselves.
Community Development, Youth and Religion Minister Wake Goi revealed a plan to place those children with “genuine cases” in care centres.
From there, an adoption programme where they will become part of a “foster” family follows.
It will require making amendments to the Lukautim Pikinini Act to accommodate this initiative.
It makes sense because it is a positive move which needs to be supported by everyone.
It ensures the protection of both the homeless children and the people who often find themselves the victims of their harassment and petty crimes.
A win-win situation perhaps.
We see these children hanging around junctions and traffic lights, harassing motorists.
People who refuse to give them money are often abused or threatened with violence.
Vehicles have also been stoned.
In downtown Port Moresby, they demand money from motorists in the process of parking their cars.
If they refuse, the little brats damage the vehicle before fleeing. It has been going on for years but nothing had been done about effectively addressing the problem.
The authorities seem to turn a blind eye or a deaf ear each time the issue is brought up in court or in public debates.
The plan by Goi and his department sounds as a good start – if and when implemented of course.
For too many times we have seen and heard many beautifully- framed and wisely-worded plans, policies and ideas forgotten on some shelf or cabinet in a government office.
They become useless and not even worth the paper they are written on.
It remains our biggest problem – procrastinating and sitting on plans and policies, reluctant to stand up and act on them.
Implementation and enforcement we fear to do.
Institutions such as Life PNG Care operating out of a family home in Gerehu are doing a marvellous job in taking some of the children off the street and “adopting” them.
Many thanks Collin Pake and your family for giving these children a “home” and providing them an education.
Pake’s institution has achieved outstanding results and deserves everyone’s support.
But while it is a solution to the problem, it is not the only solution.
It is not practicable or possible to absorb all these children into homes.
No responsible parent or family member wants to see children ending up on the streets in such manner – unloved and uncared for.
Parents and guardians have to be responsible first and foremost.
The children end up on the streets and become a nuisance to people because of parents’ negligence – which they should be pulled up for – and their lack of care and love. They are the culprits. Let the law deal with them.

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